Importance of Mentorship and Learning from One Another

In last week’s article on “Creating a Thriving Culture,” I touched on things that I’ve learned and read over the years to create and sustain a healthy culture in the workplace.  I’d like to expand on one specific trait that plays heavily into cultivating the said culture and sustaining it over the long haul.  Mentorship and leadership, in my opinion, is the key piece to a thriving culture.  Without one or both of those, you will have a culture that simply may not thrive and excel as one might like.  Another word for such a culture may be stagnant or complacent.

Every Tuesday we have a company meeting to discuss weekly marketing, sales, and service. Followed by an open floor to discuss any items that need attention from any employee.  It is important to have a strong moderator run the meeting as it could get out of hand having an open floor where anyone can talk about whatever they feel is important.  I noticed one of my key employees not contributing as he normally did.  He had a blank look on his face followed by a stone face without a smile.

I vividly remember this type of situation in the past with other members of my staff and had a whole conversation in my head, without saying a word to the person.  I’d tell myself stories and typically take my thoughts down a path of, “There is something wrong with me or the company. Therefore he doesn’t want to work here anymore.  Oh no, I’m going to lose a good person, etc.”  Eventually, I’d find myself so worked up that I wouldn’t say anything, or when I did say something, it came from a close-minded place.

Largely due to my reading of Multipliers and Crucial Accountability, as well as a few years of practice and a gut feeling, I knew something was off with my key employee based on his demeanor. When we concluded our meeting, I asked him to come to my office so that we may chat for a moment before his appointments.  I opened the conversation with, “Hey buddy; I noticed something was off, would you like to talk about what is on your mind?”

I had to do little to no coercing to get his truth out of him and on the floor to discuss what was going on in his head.  Long story short, he had an entire conversation in his head about how he was going to take care of an important project that was scheduled for tomorrow, but the client asked for part of the project to be done today.  We are two days ahead of schedule on this project and in my eyes, in good shape.  The conversation he had with himself was, “How am I going to get all this done today?” and “Why am I the only one that has to do all this work?”

Based on his current view, these justified thoughts took him down a path of creating his truth.  It became real to him, and he was about to act on those thoughts by jumping into action and getting the project done.  Although good for productivity, it was bad for his personal mental health and as a team member to take on all this work by himself without exploring other options first.  We spoke about some options and scenarios, priorities and logistics followed by a statement to him, that once it sank it, his demeanor changed immediately.  The statement was, “By you saying YES to what the client wanted; you said NO to you leading your co-workers.  You said NO to doing what you felt was a priority today.  You said NO to yourself just because a client asked you to do something.”

This train of thought derived from The ONE Thing book that I am reading and often reciting in my daily habits.  Be careful what you say YES to because you’re equally saying NO to something else.  On the flip side, when you say NO to something, think of all the things you can say YES to doing.  That is where priority meets opportunity, which is difficult to manage at times but can be very impactful in your daily life and ultimately your long-term success.

What this all comes down to is this.  I saw something was off with a friend, a co-worker and a person of influence in my life and I directly asked him about what was going on in his head.  From that starting point, I created a comfortable environment for us to talk and collaborate as a team to figure out whatever was on his mind.  This situation started with leadership but transpired into mentorship within moments.  On top of that, I learned something of value from him.

Ultimately, I learned that we need to have a system in place to monitor and manage these types of situations in the workplace.  As we grow and hire more people, it will be difficult to manage on a one-to-one level as we did in this situation.  By having Controls in place versus trying to be Controlling of the situations, we’ll create a more successful work environment with the highest morale!  I also learned how much this young man cares about his team and his profession.  He is exactly the kind of person that I look up to by his expression of quality work and drive to be the best person he can, in every situation he encounters.

Thank you, my friend, for teaching me something and allowing me to mentor you back to a smile as well as sharing some more options to get this project completed.

I am open to suggestions and comments, or if you’d like to share your story, you may direct message me by replying to this email or going to https://www.facebook.com/adam.dellos or https://www.instagram.com/hikingrugger

Have a tubular morning and rest of your day!

 

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